News Media
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Episode 78
Featuring Matt Taibbi
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Matt Taibbi, about his ambitious project to update Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent, which is a sort of operational manual for those looking to understand how journalists and the media shape social reality. Topics include the Iraq War, the 2008 Financial Crisis, and the 2016 Election.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Matt Taibbi, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and winner of the 2008 National Magazine Award, about his latest book, Hate, INC.

 

Matt Taibbi is someone who truly needs no introduction. His polemical, but also highly illustrative and expository writing stands apart from his contemporaries, and the significance of his contributions, particularly to the public debate during the 2008 financial crisis cannot be understated. He served as an interpreter for what was, in his own words, “a crime story that most people mistakenly thought of as an economic story.” His attacks on those he identified as being chiefly responsible for the crisis were relentless, and in a media environment tenanted and owned by government apologists and banking sycophants, they were noticeably ruthless and unforgiving. In an article he penned in the spring of 2010 titled, “The Great American Bubble Machine,” Taibbi referred to the investment bank Goldman Sachs as a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

 

Fortunately for Goldman Sachs, Matt Taibbi has since turned his attention towards the media itself, embarking on an ambitious project to update Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent, for the 21st century, as a serialized book that he’s been releasing through sub-stack. The majority of this conversation deals with the subject of that book, which is a sort of operational manual for those looking to understand how journalists and the media shape social reality.

 

When Manufacturing Consent was first published in 1988, the media landscape was still largely dominated by print and broadcast television. We’ve since gone through two, major technological disruptions, first with cable, and then with the Internet, both of which altered the traditional pathways through which governments and big business try to shape and control public opinion. Matt and Demetri discuss these changes at length, including the amplification of “flak” through social media, the new orthodoxies of groupthink, as well as an exploration of victimhood hierarchies as understood through Herman and Chomsky’s “worthy vs. unworthy victims” framework.

 

Finally, Matt Taibbi and Demetri discuss the circus that is the media’s political coverage, including some amazing stories from Matt’s time on the 2016 campaign trail, as well as a scathing critique of his old buddies at Goldman Sachs, who are back in the news over their role in a scheme to defraud the Malaysian government and its citizens of billions of dollars through the use of a state-owned investment fund known as 1MDB. If you want access to this part of the conversation, as well as a transcript of the full episode along with this week’s 14-page rundown, which includes an updated outline of the propaganda model and a timeline of important events in the evolution of the news business, you can subscribe directly by clicking on the overtime, transcript, or rundown tabs within this episode page. Subscribers instantly gain access to our entire library of content, including nearly 80 transcripts, close to 60 rundowns, and overtime segments going back to the end of December 2018.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

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Episode 72
Featuring Senator Bob Kerrey
Episode 72
Featuring Senator Bob Kerrey

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and winner of the 2008 National Magazine Award for columns and commentary. His most recent book is ‘I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street,’ about the infamous killing of Eric Garner by the New York City police. He’s also the author of the New York Times bestsellers 'Insane Clown President,' 'The Divide,' 'Griftopia,' and 'The Great Derangement.'

 

@mtaibbi

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

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Investing
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Episode 70
Featuring Andrei Shleifer
This episode centers on the subject of beliefs: how they impact markets and how economists and financial practitioners like Andrei Shleifer are attempting to model them using data about people’s expectations, assumptions, and attitudes in order to make better informed investment and policy decisions.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Andrei Shleifer, professor of economics at Harvard University. Dr. Shleifer is the most cited economist in the world according to RePEc’s database. Throughout the course of his career, Andrei Shleifer has worked in the areas of comparative corporate governance, law & finance, behavioral finance, as well as institutional economics. He has published seven books, including, A Crisis of Beliefs: Investor Psychology and Financial Fragility with his co-author Nicola Gennaioli.   

 

Demetri’s conversation with Andrei centers on the subject of beliefs: how they impact markets and how economists and financial practitioners are attempting to model them using data about people’s expectations, assumptions, and attitudes in order to make better-informed investment and policy decisions.

 

The first half of the episode is devoted to exploring the mechanics of the 2007-2008 credit crisis, and the role played by structured products and derivatives, off-balance sheet vehicles, money market funds, GSE’s, and a policy of ultra-low interest rates that fueled over-confidence in the power of regulators and in the sustainability of the status quo. In the second half, Dr. Shleifer provides us with a more formal approach to thinking about Hyman Minsky’s instability hypothesis and how market participants can draw radically different conclusions about that same data when their beliefs about the world change dramatically.

 

Given the destabilizing forces of populist politics, trade tensions, and changing geopolitical fault lines, the ability to draw valuable insights from data about expectations and beliefs is invaluable for any investor or policymaker looking to gain a sense of market sentiment: where it stands and where it might be going.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Andrei Shleifer is John L. Loeb Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. from MIT. Before coming to Harvard in 1991, he has taught at Princeton and the Chicago Business School. Shleifer has worked in the areas of comparative corporate governance, law & finance, behavioral finance, as well as institutional economics. He has published seven books, including The Grabbing Hand (with Robert Vishny), Inefficient Markets: An Introduction to Behavioral Finance, and A Crisis of Beliefs: Investor Psychology and Financial Fragility (with Nicola Gennaioli), as well as over a hundred articles.

 

Shleifer is an Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and a fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Finance Association. In 1999, Shleifer won the John Bates Clark medal of the American Economic Association. According to RePEc, Shleifer is the most cited economist in the world.

 

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

Economics
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Episode 67
Featuring Bill Janeway
A new sort of political economy, driven by the disruptive forces of globalization, financialization, and the information revolution, has made ideological approaches to economic thinking obsolete. In this episode, Bill Janeway proposes a new model for how to think about capitalism at the frontier of technological change.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Bill Janeway about capitalism in the innovation economy. Janeway is a senior advisor and managing director of Warburg Pincus, where he was responsible for building the investment firm’s information technology investment practice. Bill is also a co-founder and member of the board of governors of the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

 

In 1948, the same year in which Claude Shannon’s revolutionary paper on information theory was first published in the Bell Labs Technical Journal, economist Paul Samuelson released what would become, the best-selling economics textbook of all time.

 

Though no one can measure the creative impact of Shannon’s ideas in shaping the next 70 years of innovation and progress in the information sciences, Samuelson’s work is perhaps equally noteworthy for the destructive impact it had on three generations of capitalists, policy makers, and academics. The legacy of the neoclassical synthesis is one of economic theories built on models that borrowed recklessly from the physical sciences, canonized in the works of Samuelson’s Economics.  

 

The failure of neoclassical economics with its dynamic stochastic equilibria and Gaussian-based models like VaR and MPT - peddling false promises of mean regression - have forced academia to rethink the entire edifice upon which our understanding of markets and the economy have been built.  A new sort of political economy, driven by the disruptive forces of globalization, financialization, and the information revolution, have made ideological approaches to economic thinking obsolete. In this climate, what Bill Janeway calls “the mission-driven state,” has been rendered illegitimate as an economic actor, disrupting the process of capitalism itself, as well as the credit cycle from which paradigm-shifting innovations are born.

 

Still, ideas matter. The failure of modern macroeconomic models, to account for the Global Financial Crisis was a precondition for the type of creative destruction that we have seen applied to problems of markets and the economy in recent years. Developing a new framework for understanding the role of government, the power of markets, and the forces driving both is crucial if we hope to survive the changes of the 21st century.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Bill Janeway is a Senior Advisor and Managing Director of Warburg Pincus. He joined Warburg Pincus in 1988 and was responsible for building the information technology investment practice. Previously, he was executive vice president and director at Eberstadt Fleming. Dr. Janeway is a director of Magnet Systems and O'Reilly Media. He is an Affiliated Member of the Faculty of Economics at Cambridge University.

 

Dr. Janeway is a co-founder and member of the board of governors of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. He is a member of the board of directors of the Social Science Research Council and of the Field Institute for Research in the Mathematical Sciences and of the Advisory Board of the Princeton Bendheim Center for Finance. He is a member of the management committee of the Cambridge-INET Institute, University of Cambridge and a Member of the Board of Managers of the Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance (CERF). He is the author of Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Reconfiguring the Three-Player Game between Markets, Speculators, and the State, the substantially revised and extended new edition of the book initially published by Cambridge University Press in November 2012.

 

Janeway received his doctorate in economics from Cambridge University where he was a Marshall Scholar. He was valedictorian of the class of 1965 at Princeton University.

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

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Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

Bill Janeway | Venture Capitalism and the Future of the Innovation Economy
Investing
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Episode 63
Featuring Howard Marks
Demetri Kofinas speaks with legendary value investor Howard Marks about the greatest challenge facing the next generation of value investors. Howard serves as the co-chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, a leading investment management firm responsible for over 120 billion dollars in client assets.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with legendary value investor Howard Marks. Howard serves as the co-chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, a leading investment management firm responsible for over 120 billion dollars in client assets.

 

This week’s conversation centers on the market cycle, its origins and impact. Howard shares his philosophy on risk management, asset bubbles, contrarianism, and what he calls second-level thinking – an approach thinking about value that puts price front and center. The two also explore how markets and the economy have changed over the last fifty years and how the drivers of a secular bull-market in finance may already have come to an end. They explore how a new-normal economy, characterized by low-returns on capital is unleashing political and social forces that have yet to be fully appreciated, let-alone priced into financial assets. Howard Marks shares his views on what it means to be a contrarian investor, how he thinks about risk management, and what his philosophy is around value investing. He also reflects on what his fifty years in finance have taught him about human psychology, herd behavior, and what he calls “bubble-thinking.”

 

Finally, Demetri asks Howard what he sees as the greatest challenge facing the next generation of investors. He reflects on the rotation of money out of active and into passive investment vehicles, theories of secular stagnation, and shares his opinion on what skills he believes investors will need in order to survive and thrive in the next market downturn.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Howard Marks, serves as the co-chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, a leading investment management firm responsible for over 120 billion dollars in client assets. Since the formation of Oaktree in 1995, Mr. Marks has been responsible for ensuring the firm's adherence to its core investment philosophy; communicating closely with clients concerning products and strategies; and contributing his experience to big-picture decisions relating to investments and corporate direction.

 

From 1985 until 1995, Mr. Marks led the groups at The TCW Group, Inc. that were responsible for investments in distressed debt, high yield bonds, and convertible securities. He was also Chief Investment Officer for Domestic Fixed Income at TCW. Previously, Mr. Marks was with Citicorp Investment Management for 16 years, where from 1978 to 1985 he was Vice President and senior portfolio manager in charge of convertible and high yield securities. Between 1969 and 1978, he was an equity research analyst and, subsequently, Citicorp's Director of Research. 

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

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Business
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Episode 53
Featuring Gillian Tett
Gillian Tett shares stories about her experience at the Financial Times and explains how her background in anthropology has helped her identify financial bubbles in technology and the economy. Topics include corporate debt, unicorns, ETFs, EMEs, volatility, dollar carry-trade, protectionism, interest rates, populism, and geopolitics.

“It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” said the famous Yankee captain, Yogi Berra, and yet, this hasn’t stopped us from trying. Attempting to predict the future is a sport as old as civilization itself. Oracles and wishing wells litter the landscape of humanity’s past. Yet, in a world whose outcomes are no longer determined by the forces of nature, ordaining the future has become a matter of market introspection. Learning how to cultivate a sense of objectivity, empathy, and cultural awareness can be the difference between staying ahead of the curve or falling far behind it.

 

Gillian Tett has managed well by this measure. The Managing Editor of the Financial Times US is trained as a cultural anthropologist who applies her knowledge of human cultural practices, values, and norms towards trying to identify key trends in finance and the economy. In this almost hour-long conversation with Demetri Kofinas, Gillian shares stories about her experience covering financial markets, as well as how her background as a cultural anthropologist has helped her to spot financial bubbles in technology and the economy.

 

Prior to the crisis, Gillian Tett and her team of capital markets reporters were some of the only financial journalists to cover the arcane world of credit derivatives. Since 2008, she has been one of the most important journalistic voices in all of economics and finance, moderating panels and conducting interviews at the most prestigious conferences and private gatherings around the world.

 

Our conversation begins in Tajikistan, where Gillian studied local wedding rituals as part of her doctorate in cultural anthropology. She would later draw a useful comparison between Tajik wedding rituals and what she was seeing in the space of credit derivatives (specifically, the innovations happening at JP Morgan). The conversation quickly shifts to the 2008 financial crisis, and what the now managing editor of the Financial Times learned from her experience covering the panic of ’08-’09. This was a period in which central banks engaged in extraordinary measures aimed at shoring up the global financial system for fear that if they did not, a banking collapse would ensue. Fortunately, the system survived, but not without leaving some lasting scars…

 

The rest of Demetri’s conversation with Gillian Tett is an exploration of the current financial landscape. Where have the risks accumulated post-2008? Much of today’s investment capital has accumulated in technology stocks and in technology-related companies. Private placements have boomed, and pre-IPO valuations have skyrocketed. Unicorns like Uber, Theranos, and a litany of cryptocurrency ICO’s have shot straight to the moon. The growth of wealth and income inequality since 2008 can be seen in these sky-high valuations.

 

Sovereign balance sheets have also exploded as a legacy of the crisis, but little has been discussed about the growth in corporate debt over the last six to eight years. Not only is the amount of corporate debt important, but the form that debt has taken is telling. Hampered by new regulations, as well as the memory of the last crisis, banks have curbed back their lending only to see bond make up the difference, buying up new offerings across the risk curve. Emerging markets have been a big beneficiary, not only of the appetite for high-yield debt but also, of loose monetary policy. The dollar carry-trade has become a powerful funding mechanism for emerging market economies and companies, which are now at risk of a dangerous snap back as the Fed continues to tighten, raising interest rates and shrinking the size of its balance sheet. Volatility remains low, but with prices having made all-time highs across various asset classes, geopolitical tensions between the United States, Russia, and China may prove the straw that breaks the market’s back. Additionally, the developing trade war with China, as well as the protections measures taken against Canada and Europe may finally create the type of consumer price inflation that the Fed has been begging for. You know what they say? Be careful what you wish for…

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

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Episode 6
Featuring Joan Freese
Episode 6
Featuring Joan Freese

Gillian Tett serves as US managing editor, leading the FT’s editorial operations in the region across all platforms. She writes weekly columns for the Financial Times, covering a range of economic, financial, political and social issues throughout the globe.

 

Tett previously served as assistant editor, US managing editor from 2010-2012, and prior to this as the assistant editor responsible for the FT’s markets coverage. Her other roles at the FT have included capital markets editor, deputy editor of the Lex column, Tokyo bureau chief, Tokyo correspondent, London-based economics reporter and a reporter in Russia and Brussels.

 

Tett’s latest book The Silo Effect, published by Simon & Schuster in September 2015, looks at the global economy and financial system through the lens of cultural anthropology.

 

Most recently in 2016, Tett received honorary degrees from the University of Exeter in July and the University of Miami in May; and in 2015, an honorary doctorate from Lancaster University in the UK, one of the top ten British universities. In 2014, Tett was named Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards, with judges describing her column as “provocative, revealing, often counter-intuitive” and commending her for covering “a gloriously eclectic range of themes”. She also received the 2014 Royal Anthropological Institute Marsh Award, which recognizes an individual who works outside academia and has used anthropology or anthropological ideas to contribute to a better understanding of the world’s problems. In 2012, she received a Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) Award for best feature article, “Madoff Spins his Story.” Her other awards include a President’s Medal by the British Academy (2011), being recognized as Journalist of the Year (2009) and Business Journalist of the Year (2008) by the British Press Awards, and as Senior Financial Journalist of the Year (2007) by the Wincott Awards.

 

She is the author of New York Times bestseller Fool’s Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe (Little Brown, UK and Simon and Schuster, US) published in May 2009, and Saving the Sun: A Wall Street Gamble to Rescue Japan from its Trillion Dollar Meltdown (Harper Collins,2003). Fool’s Gold won Financial Book of the Year at the Spear’s Book Awards in 2009.

 

Before joining the Financial Times in 1993, Tett was awarded a PhD in social anthropology from Cambridge University based on fieldwork in the former Soviet Union. While pursuing the PhD, she freelanced for the FT and the BBC. She is a graduate of Cambridge University.

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

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Crypto
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Episode 34
Featuring Brian Kelly
Demetri Kofinas speaks with author, investor, and contributor to CNBC's Fast Money Brian Kelly about the problem of scalability, exchange & regulatory risk, cash-settled futures & ETF’s, and how bitcoin may fare compared to gold during a financial crisis. They also contemplate the impact of systemic trading on market downturns.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Brian Kelly, CEO of BKCM LLC, a digital asset investment firm. He is an experienced Global Macro investor with over twenty-five years’ experience in financial markets and a CNBC contributor who appears regularly on Fast Money.

 

Our most recent episodes with Chris Burniske on modeling cryptoassets and with Ari Paul on cryptocurrency trading methodologies introduced two foundational frameworks to our audience. This week's episode with Brian Kelly affords our audience the opportunity to explore both of these perspectives (theory and execution) in a single conversation. Brian Kelly is uniquely qualified to talk about the financial side of cryptocurrencies, but he also provides valuable perspective on how the media is covering this space.

 

Brian begins his conversation with Demetri by recounting his introductory experience to bitcoin, how he made his first investments, and what he learned in the year he wrote his book “The Bitcoin Big Bang.” The two explore familiar topics like the problem of scalability, exchange and regulatory risk, cash-settled futures and ETF’s, and how bitcoin may fare to gold during a systemic financial crisis. Is there any way to measure the intrinsic value of a given cryptocurrency? Can permissioned blockchains compete with public ledgers, or will cryptocurrencies come to dominate the future of software? Besides bitcoin and Ethereum, what are some of the more interesting cryptocurrency investment opportunities out there? Brian and Demetri also cover the recent spike in financial volatility amid this rising interest rate environment. Lastly, they consider how the rise of systemic trading strategies and passive investment vehicles like ETFs may accelerate (or not) a future market downturn.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Brian Kelly is Founder and CEO of BKCM LLC, an investment firm focused on digital currencies. He is the portfolio manager of the BKCM Digital Asset Fund. Brian is the author of "The Bitcoin Big Bang – How Alternative Currencies Are About to Change the World."

 

Prior to BKCM LLC, Brian was Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Shelter Harbor Capital LLC and managed the Shelter Harbor Capital Global Macro Hedge Fund. As well, Mr. Kelly was a co-founder and President of MKM Partners, a brokerage firm catering to institutional investment managers.

 

Brian provides money management services to a select clientele and consults on digital currencies.

Brian is a graduate of the University of Vermont where he received a B.S. in finance. He also holds an M.B.A. from Babson Graduate School of Business with a concentration in finance and econometrics.

 

@BKBrianKelly

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Crypto
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Episode 31
Featuring Chris Burniske
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Chris Burniske about how to value cryptocurrency. How do we differentiate between currencies, DApps, and tokens? How does one judge the merits of a white paper, the seriousness of the dev team, and the enthusiasm of early adopters? How important is governance, supply schedules, and money velocity in valuations?

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Chris Burniske about how to value a cryptocurrency. Chris is a co-founder of Placeholder, a New York venture firm that specializes in cryptoassets. Before Placeholder, Chris Burniske pioneered ARK Invest's Next Generation Internet strategy, leading the company to become the first public fund manager to invest in cryptocurrency. He then transitioned to focus exclusively on cryptoassets, paving the way for Wall Street to recognize it as a new asset class. His commentary has been featured on national media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Fortune, and Forbes.

 

With the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrency having surpassed $800 billion by the start of 2018, it was only a matter of time before Wall Street would stand up and take notice. The establishment of a cash-settled futures market for bitcoin in late 2017 is one of many bullish signs for the long-term viability of cryptoassets. It has also opened the door to further institutional capital and crypto-focused hedge funds with hundreds of millions of dollars to deploy. The opportunities for profitmaking are too lucrative to ignore, but the flood of institutional and private capital into the cryptocurrency space is also fueling a speculative mania. The newness of this asset class and its lack of historical price data make proper valuations even more challenging. So, given these constraints, the question remains, how do you value cryptocurrency?

 

The answer lies at the intersection of macroeconomics and financial modeling. Chris Burniske and Demetri Kofinas start by laying out a taxonomy for cryptoassets that breaks them into three categories: cryptocurrency, cryptocommodities, and cryptotokens. In their conversation, they explore how one can learn to differentiate between the different currencies, DApps, and tokens. How does one judge the merits of a white paper, the seriousness of the dev team, and the enthusiasm of early adopters? How important is governance? How can volatility in the underlying token impact the robustness of the software? How do supply schedules determine future values? What are some of the most reliable, early indicators of success or failure for a cryptoventure? These are just some of the questions that Demetri and Chris address in this highly informative and timely conversation.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

 

Chris Burniske is a co-founder of Placeholder, a New York venture firm focused on the economics and governance of cryptonetworks. Prior to Placeholder, he worked at ARK Investment Management as the first buy-side analyst to cover cryptoassets, driving the firm's decision to invest in bitcoin in 2015. 

 

In addition to his work as an investor, Chris co-authored the best-seller, Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond (McGraw Hill, 2017). His commentary has been featured on national media outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Fortune and more. 

 

@cburniske

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

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Economics
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Episode 27
Featuring Gary Shilling
How will the Trump tax plan and regulatory reform affect the economy? If treasuries remain in a bull market, what will happen to stocks, commodities, and the dollar in 2018? Perennial bond bull Gary Shilling shares his view in this week's episode of Hidden Forces.

In this week's episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with economist and famous bond bull Gary Shilling, about the ramifications of Donald Trump’s economic policies, the role of cryptocurrencies, and the prospect for stocks, commodities, and the dollar in 2018.

 

Few would reasonably argue that regulatory reform is not needed in the United States. The issue for politicians and policymakers has always been one of balance and practicality. The turbulence of the 1970’s produced a slew of regulatory measures like wage and price controls that proved disastrous for the economy. Likewise, the financial deregulation of the 1980s and 1990s rolled back investor protections that had served to safeguard customer deposits and prevent excessive interconnectivity in the banking system.

 

In the context of the current economic expansion, one must consider the impact that deregulation and higher after-tax income will have on an economy already in its ninth year of economic expansion. With corporations and businesses standing to benefit most from tax cuts proposed by Senate and House Republicans, what do individual tax-filers stand to gain from the Trump tax plan? Are there benefits to rolling back some of the financial regulations passed in reaction to the fallout of the great financial crisis of 2008? What does the employment picture look like for the US economy? How do job prospects and wages fare in the face of rising asset values and growing debt burdens? If Gary Shilling is right and treasuries remain in a bull market, what does this mean for the fate of stocks, commodities, and the US dollar in 2018? Will the price of oil continue its recent rise, or may some combination of weak demand and oversupply hamper prices? How will the Federal Reserve’s ongoing tightening affect the economy and are we destined to see an inversion of the yield curve for 10-year US Treasuries? Gary Shilling also gives us his two cents on bitcoin, and why he thinks the cryptocurrency is massively overvalued.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

A. Gary Shilling is an American financial analyst and commentator who appears on a regular basis in publications such as Forbes magazine, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He is President of A. Gary Shilling & Co., Inc., editor of A. Gary Shilling's Insight, and member of The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Board of Economists. He is featured frequently on business shows on radio and television, and as a recognised orator, addresses conventions of global business groups like the Young Presidents' Organization. He was awarded a Bachelor's Degree in Physics from Amherst College, and a PhD in Economics from Stanford University. He has worked for Thornhill Securities, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Merrill Lynch, and White Weld & Co, and Standard Oil Co NJ.

 

In the spring of 1969, he was one of only a few analysts who correctly envisioned the recession at year's end, and was almost a lone voice in 1973, when he forecast a monolithic international inventory-building fling, followed by the first significant recession since the Great Depression.

 

In the late 1970s, while most analysts presumed that waxing inflation would go on unabated, Shilling was the first to predict that America's infirm political climate would impede it. He also foresaw various dangerous economic readjustment problems and a shift in investment strategy from a preference for tangible assets to an increased emphasis on stocks and bonds.

 

In June 2011, he predicted a 20% drop in housing in 2012 with a resulting global recession. In October 2012 he predicted a global recession in 2013.

 

In August 2015, he predicted that the price of oil "is headed for $10 to $20 per barrel" (it was $43/barrel at the time) due to higher productivity through fracking and OPEC not limiting production.

 

@AGaryShilling

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Economics
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Episode 25
Featuring Lacy Hunt
Demetri Kofinas speaks with former Chief US Economist for HSBC, Lacy Hunt, about the macro forces driving the global economy in the 21st century. This conversation relies on a panoply of data as we examine the forces of debt deflation, structural demographics, and historically low savings rates.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Lacy Hunt, Executive Vice President of Hoisington Investment Management Company. For nearly 14 years, Dr. Lacy Hunt was Chief U.S. Economist for HSBC Group, one of the world’s largest banks. He was also Executive Vice President and Chief Economist at Fidelity and held the position of Senior Economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

 

Global Macro is an investment strategy based on the interpretation and prediction of large-scale events. Many such events are driven by chronic conditions, including debt deflation, structural demographics, and low savings rate. What role have governments played in amplifying and perpetuating the impact of these forces by bailing out financial markets and flooding the banking system with cheap money?

 

In order to answer this question, we must rely on a panoply of data, statistics, and econometrics – bank lending, money velocity, monetary aggregates, disposable income, liquidity coverage ratios, and credit spreads. How will we navigate the next recession, having wasted the last 8 years chasing the shadows of wealth through buy-backs, stock appreciations, and financialization? Where will the demand come from in a consumer-led economy still fighting the forces of debt-deflation with diminishing savings rates and rising interest expenses? How will we manage our unfunded liabilities, mortgage payments, rents, and college tuitions, with such poor structural demographics? And how does all of this tie back to the resurgence of populism and the escalation of geopolitical tension in a world bound together by our liabilities but torn apart by the specter of conflict, the failures of diplomacy, and the expediency of war?

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Dr. Lacy H. Hunt, an internationally known economist, is Executive Vice President and Chief Economist of Hoisington Investment Management Company (HIMCO), a firm that manages $4 billion for pension funds, endowments, insurance companies and others. 

 

Lacy is the author of two books, and numerous articles in leading magazines, periodicals and scholarly journals. Included among the publishers of his articles are. Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, the Journal of Finance, the Financial Analysts Journal and the Journal of Portfolio Management.  The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank both published his research.    

 

The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Week, Barron’s, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, Investor’s Business Daily and many other domestic periodicals have quoted Lacy.  Among the foreign press, Lacy’s views have appeared in The Financial Times, the Nihon Keizai Shinbun, the South China Post, The International Herald Tribune and The Straight Times.  He has been a guest on PBS on The Nightly Business Report, The News Hour, and Wall Street Week.  He has been on CNN shows Moneyline, and Business Morning and on CNBC’s Squawk Box and World Business.  He has also appeared on CBS Evening News, NBC's Today Show, and ABC's World News Tonight.

 

He has made numerous presentations in all the major financial and economic centers in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and North America.  He has appeared on radio and television outside of the United States, including The BBC, NHK and TV Tokyo.  Dr. Hunt has testified before various committees of Congress, including House Ways and Means, Senate Finance and Senate Banking.

 

Previously, Lacy was Chief U.S. Economist for the HSBC Group, one of the world’s largest banks, Executive Vice President and Chief Economist at Fidelity Bank and Vice President for Monetary Economics at Chase Econometrics Associates, Inc. Lacy considers himself fortunate that he had the opportunity of working for two firms led by great bankers:  David Rockefeller (Chase) and Sir William Purvis (HSBC). 

 

A native of Texas, Lacy has served as Senior Economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.  While at the Dallas Fed, he served on the Federal Reserve System Committees: Financial Analysis and International Economics.  He successfully completed the training program at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  When he entered the Fed, William McChesney Martin was grappling with a severe inflation and when he left Author Burns was also trying to contain rampant price increases, virtually the opposite of the challenges facing Janet Yellen and the Fed today.  At the Fidelity Bank of Philadelphia he had the responsibility for managing the Trust Department’s Comingled Fixed Income Fund in the 1970s and early 1980s.  This fund produced one of the highest returns during this inflationary era.  

 

He earned his BA from Sewanee: The University of the South (1964), his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (1966), and his Ph.D. in Economics from the Fox School of Business and Management of Temple University (1969).  From Sewanee, he received an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws in 2013 and their Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2016. Lacy served on the Board of Trustees of Temple University from 1987 to 2010 and is now an honorary life trustee. 

 

He received the Abramson Award from the National Association for Business Economics for “outstanding contributions in the field of business economics.” He is a life member of the American Finance Association.  He was a member of the Economic Advisory Board of the American Bankers Association and Chairman of the Economic Advisory Board of the Pennsylvania Bankers Association.  He served on the Monetary and Fiscal Policy Affairs Committee of the National Chamber of Commerce.  He was a member of The Money Marketeers of New York University.

 

The honorary doctorate from Sewanee reads “His career path has included stops at some of the most powerful financial institutions in the country, where he has not only influenced internal investment policy but has left an indelible mark on the nation’s economic policy through his publications, speeches and appearances in the national media.”

 

Lacy and his wife JK (Janet Kay) live in Austin, Texas.  They have four daughters, two sons and three grandsons.  

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Markets
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Market Forces
Featuring Jim Rickards
Demetri Kofinas speaks with financial analyst and best-selling author Jim Rickards about the IMF and World Bank meetings taking place in D.C., the prospects of war with North Korea, and the future of US-China relations. Jim also shares his thoughts about the changes he expects to see at the Fed as Janet Yellen's term comes to an end.

In this Market Forces segment of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jim Rickards about a timeline for war with North Korea, de-dollarization, and changes at the Trump Fed. Rickards is the author of multiple New York Times bestsellers including The Death of Money, Currency Wars, and The New Case For Gold. His latest book is The Road To Ruin: The Global Elites' Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis. Editor of the Strategic Intelligence newsletter, Jim Rickards is also a member of the advisory board of the Center for Financial Economics at Johns Hopkins. He’s an adviser to the Department of Defense and the U.S. intelligence community on international economics and financial threats and served as a facilitator of the first-ever financial war games conducted by the Pentagon.

 

Jim Rickards believes that the United States may be six to eight months away from a shooting war with North Korea. A conflict on the Korean peninsula may be far more complex and unstable than the public realizes. A recent article by Evan Osnos in the New Yorker Magazine paints a daunting picture of the state of affairs between the Trump administration and the government of Kim Jong-un, characterized by a deep mistrust and hampered by a lack of communication.

 

Still, hopes remain high that the Chinese Communist Party, with its 19th National Congress coming up in less than one week, may be able to apply sufficient leverage in order to stem the crisis. Much was made of this in Mark Bowden’s piece for The Atlantic. Yet, Osnos and others believe that Chinese influence is drastically overstated, while the potential for missteps remain abundant. In a recent news conference at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense General James Mattis stated that the US has military options to exercise against North Korea that could be “minimally impactful on Seoul.” The implication that some members of the press have drawn, including our guest Jim Rickards, is that the US military may have a “secret weapon,” at its disposal. Unfortunately, the press has a long history of overestimating the efficacy of untested, military technologies. The Reagan administration’s Strategic Defense Initiative comes foremost to mind. Indeed, according to Philip E. Coylse III, who once ran the Pentagon’s weapons-testing program, our anti-ballistic missile defense system “is something the U.S. military, and the American people, cannot depend upon.”

 

Despite this uncertainty, financial markets continue to make new highs. The Nasdaq is up 21% year-to-date and the S&P 500 is up a respectable 13% over the same period, begging the question, “why are financial markets so bad at pricing geopolitical risk?” Demetri believes that such risk pricing is a skill that investors have become particularly incompetent at after decades of geopolitical, round upon round of quantitative easing, nine years of record low federal funds rates, and a growth in passive investment strategies and indexing that have laid the foundations for a violent reversal in equity prices. How will markets react if tensions escalate on the Korean Peninsula? What might the catalyst be for a war with North Korea, and will investors even wait to find out?

 

The truth is that investors have more to worry about than just war with North Korea. The spectrum of de-dollarization continues to create problems for American diplomats and strategists as well, in their efforts to use sanctions over military force. Recently, the Chinese announced the creation of a Yuan-based oil contract that would be convertible into gold. Does Jim Rickards see this as just another sign that countries like China, Russia, and Iran may be closer to the de-dollarization of the global financial system than people realize? And what about Saudi Arabia? Considering the challenges the US-Saudi relationship has faced in recent years, may they also be on the verge of pulling out of the petrodollar?

 

In closing, Jim and Demetri discuss Janet Yellen, Kevin Warsh, and some of the changes that may happen with the Trump Fed. Rickards had previously made the point that Donald Trump has the power to re-shape the Federal Reserve Board in ways we haven’t seen since the days of Woodrow Wilson. The President has control over six of the seven spots on the Fed Board of Governors. Three spots on the Trump Fed are currently empty. Two are occupied by conservatives, including the recently appointed Randal Quarles. As for Janet Yellen, her status at the Trump Fed remains unclear as her term comes up for renewal in January.

 

So, not only is a Trump Fed likely to be populated by Republicans, but it may be led by one as well. Kevin Warsh, a notable skeptic of the data-dependent approach of Janet Yellen, as well as her predecessors Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan, may be Trump’s top choice to head the Fed after Yellen’s term runs out in January.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

James Rickards is the Editor of Strategic Intelligence, a financial newsletter, and Director of The James Rickards Project, an inquiry into the complex dynamics of geopolitics + global capital. He is the author of three New York Times best sellers, The Road To Ruin (2016), The Death of Money (2014), and Currency Wars (2011), and the national best seller, The New Case for Gold (2016), all from Penguin Random House.

 

He is an investment advisor, lawyer, and economist, and has held senior positions at Citibank, Long-Term Capital Management, and Caxton Associates. In 1998, he was the principal negotiator of the rescue of LTCM sponsored by the Federal Reserve. His clients include institutional investors and government directorates. He is an Op-Ed contributor to the Financial Times, Evening Standard, The Telegraph New York Times, and Washington Post, and has been interviewed on BBC, CNN, NPR, C-SPAN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox, and The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Rickards is a guest lecturer in globalization and finance at The Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, The Kellogg School at Northwestern, and the School of Advanced International Studies. He has delivered papers on risk at Singularity University, the Applied Physics Laboratory, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is an advisor on capital markets to the U.S. intelligence community, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and is on the Advisory Board of the Center on Sanctions & Illicit Finance in Washington DC. Mr. Rickards holds an LL.M. (Taxation) from the NYU School of Law; a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School; an M.A. in international economics from SAIS, and a B.A. (with honors) from Johns Hopkins. He lives in New Hampshire.

 

@JamesGRickards

 

James Ricards on the web:

The James Ricards Project

James Ricards Youtube

James on Speakerhub


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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

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Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

Markets
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Market Forces
Featuring Rachel Ziemba
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Emerging Markets Analyst Rachel Ziemba. They explore the geopolitical crisis unfolding in North Korea, as well as the falling dollar and the forward volatility of the carry-trade. They also discuss the fragile geopolitical position of Saudi Arabia, with its dwindling foreign exchange reserves.

In this this week’s Market Forces segment, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Emerging Markets Analyst Rachel Ziemba. Rachel leads Emerging Markets coverage for Roubini Global Economics and writes extensively across all three EM/Frontier regions, as well as about commodities. She has a particular interest in the macroeconomics of oil-exporting nations, including the management of oil wealth, energy-sector supply risks, and China. Rachel has served as an expert member of task forces in the U.S, and the UK on issues ranging from economic sanctions, Chinese security challenges, Egypt and sovereign wealth funds.

 

Today’s conversation begins with a look at North Korea and the geopolitical crisis that is unfolding on the Korean Peninsula. Why are financial markets so bad at pricing geopolitical risk and do governments even have a firm grasp on the evolving threat of a nuclear exchange between the United States and the regime of Kim Jong-un?

 

Our conversation eventually shifts to the matter of the falling dollar. What has been driving the fall in the dollar since the beginning of 2017? Have we seen a bottom or could the dollar fall another five, ten, or even twenty percent from these levels? The greenback has fallen despite a further drop in yields on 10-year and 30-year US treasuries. This is particularly relevant in light of the dollar carry-trade, which has benefited from the Federal Reserve's policy of low interest rates in the United States. How has the dollar's role as a funding currency for emerging markets played a role in the recent rise in equities and bond prices in some of these markets? What can forward volatility and the price of currency swaps tell us about the risk of a snap-back in the dollar carry-trade?

 

Finally, Rachel and Demetri discuss energy markets, specifically the chronically low price of oil and its effects on the oil and natural gas industries in the United States, as well as those abroad. In particular, the two discuss the case of Saudi Arabia, with its dwindling foreign exchange reserves and fragile geopolitical position.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Rachel Ziemba is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Her research focuses on the interlinkages between economics, finance and security issues. Her research topics include coercive economic policies such as sanctions, economic resilience and the role of state-owned investors including sovereign wealth funds.

 

She also serves as the head of emerging markets research at 4CAST-RGE (formerly Roubini Global Economics, a global macro strategy and country risk firm.

 

Rachel has a particular interest in the macroeconomics and foreign policy of China and oil-exporting nations, including the management of national wealth and energy-sector supply risks and resilience. She also does extensive work on global macroeconomic issues, particularly foreign-exchange reserve accumulation, sovereign-wealth management and economic imbalances. Rachel also worked for the Canadian International Development Agency in Cairo, Egypt, and the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada on development economic issues.

 

Rachel regularly serves as an expert commentator in key media outlets, and her research has been cited by a range of international financial institutions. She has served on a range of task forces aimed to generate policy ideas on Egypt, Middle East policy and economic sanctions.  She is the co-author of “Scenarios for Risk Management and Global Investment Strategies” (with William T. Ziemba), published by Wiley in January 2008.

 

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago with honors, and a Master of Philosophy degree in international relations with a specialization in international political economy from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University.

 

@ReZiemba

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Economics
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Economics
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Episode 17
Featuring Robert Johnson
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Robert Johnson about political economy, inequality, and technocracy. How does money drive politics? How have markets and the economy changed in the years after the fall of communism and the rise of the Washington Consensus? Johnson also recounts his famous trade with George Soros against the Bank of England.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Robert Johnson, about the political economy, inequality, and the failings of our technocratic institutions. Dr. Johnson serves as President of the Institute for New Economic Thinking and is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Global Finance Project for the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in New York. Robert Johnson served for many years as a Managing Director for George Soros at Soros Fund Management and was part of the famous team of speculators that broke the bank of England in 1992, forcing the pound out of ERM. He served as Chief Economist of the US Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of Chairman William Proxmire, and before this, as Senior Economist of the US Senate Budget Committee under the leadership of Chairman Pete Domenici.

 

Black Wednesday was almost 25 years ago to the day. How has global finance, international trade, foreign exchange, and financial deregulation changed the landscape of speculation in the years since? How has a decline in productivity, a collapse in marginal costs, a rise in total debt, along with an aging demographic laid the groundwork for a rise in populism? What is the role of experts, and how has faith in technocrats and academics declined in recent years? How do we defend our liberal, democratic institutions absent convincing academics, trustworthy politicians, and inspirational leaders? How do we get the money out of politics when politics is so beholden to money? How do we reform a corrupt government that is in bed with Wall Street – a government that is beholden to multinational corporations and co-mingled with industrial military companies whose very profitability is dependent on multi-billion dollar federal contracts? It is time for us to become educated on how our political economy works, because if we don’t have the knowledge to call out “the experts,” then we are powerless to affect the very changes that we seek to induce.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Robert Johnson serves as President of the Institute for New Economic Thinking and a Senior Fellow and Director of the Global Finance Project for the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in New York. Johnson is an international investor and consultant to investment funds on issues of portfolio strategy. He recently served on the United Nations Commission of Experts on International Monetary Reform under the Chairmanship of Joseph Stiglitz.

 

Previously, Johnson was a Managing Director at Soros Fund Management where he managed a global currency, bond and equity portfolio specializing in emerging markets. Prior to working at Soros Fund Management, he was a Managing Director of Bankers Trust Company managing a global currency fund. Johnson served as Chief Economist of the US Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of Chairman William Proxmire (D. Wisconsin). Before this, he was Senior Economist of the US Senate Budget Committee under the leadership of Chairman Pete Domenici (R. New Mexico). Johnson was an Executive Producer of the Oscar winning documentary, Taxi to the Dark Side, directed by Alex Gibney, and is the former President of the National Scholastic Chess Foundation. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of both the Economic Policy Institute and the Campaign for America’s Future. Johnson received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from Princeton University and a B.S. in both Electrical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

@rjocean

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Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

Chinese Markets
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Chinese Markets
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Episode 16
Featuring Anne Stevenson-Yang
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Anne Stevenson-Yang about the Chinese economy. Total debt in China has surpassed 300% of GDP. In the first 7 years since the financial crisis, bank liabilities in the Chinese financial system grew by nearly $15tn. How long can the country go without a recession? What will the fallout be when it finally does?

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Anne Stevenson-Yang. Anne is the co-founder of J Capital Research, which conducts ground-up, primary research for institutional money managers on stocks, the Chinese economy, and the Chinese financial system. She is also the author of the recent book China Alone: China's Emergence and Potential Return to Isolation, in which she sets out her views on the Chinese economy and political system, arguing that China historically repeats a cycle of expansion and retreat.

 

In today’s conversation, we take a trip around the world to the land of China. Our conversation concerns itself with the contemporary changes in Chinese society that came after the death of Chairman Mao. What was life like in China before Nixon and Kissinger made their famous visit in 1971? Why did modernization and reform in China begin after 1978? Who was responsible for the opening in China? What was the role of Deng Xiaoping, and why is he remembered as "the architect” of a new brand of thinking that combined socialist ideology with pragmatic aspects of market economics - a system the Chinese call "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics?”

 

What changes did the Chinese experience between 1979 and 1989, during the implementation of the economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping? How did these reforms culminate into the protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989? What was the Chinese government’s reaction to the uprisings? The Chinese response differed significantly from the Soviet reaction to the fall of the Berlin Wall in the same year. The Chinese government decided to follow a different path after the massacres in Tiananmen Square, by turbocharging economic development. Explicit targets were set for GDP growth. There was selective liberalization of the Chinese economy, particularly in Chinese real estate. China placed a huge emphasis on building its manufacturing industries and on acquiring hard currency through exports. The Chinese financial system remained highly centralized and China's currency, the renminbi, carefully controlled. All this was used towards re-investment with an almost single-minded commitment to hitting the government's GDP targets.

 

Some have called the rise of China in the late 20th century a miracle. It is more appropriate to call it "the Chinese miracle." The size of the Chinese economy has increased more than 25-fold in the last 25 years. Thirty years ago, the Chinese economy measured in at less than 5% of US GDP in exchange terms (perhaps as low as 2%). By 1992, the Chinese economy was only 6% of US GDP. By 2000 China weighed in at roughly 12-15% of US GDP. Today, China boasts a Gross Domestic Product that is roughly 60% that of United States. Loan Growth in the Chinese financial system has averaged 16 percent in the last 20 years. Loan growth in China reached an all-time high of 35% percent of GDP in June of 2009, amidst the greatest economic contraction since the Great Depression. Total debt in China recently surpassed 300% of GDP. This makes the finances of Western nations like the United States, France, and the United Kingdom seem frugal by comparison. In the first 7 years since the financial crisis, bank liabilities in the Chinese financial system grew by nearly $15 trillion dollars. This is the near equivalent of the consolidated size of all US commercial banks. China has used more cement in 3 years of massive overbuilding than the U.S. employed in all of the 20th Century. Hundreds of thousands of meters of unsold residential real estate sit empty around the country. There is a massive amount of industrial overcapacity in China. Chinese ghost cities have become almost as cliche as the fake Paris', Venice, and Dubai's created within mainland China. The Chinese economy is in terrible need of a recession. But the Chinese government cannot afford the recession that it desperately needs. Nevertheless, it cannot avoid the crisis that has been building in the Chinese financial system. How will the citizens of China, its trading partners, emerging markets and developed economies react when the reckoning finally arrives. How much longer can the Chinese government continue to postpone the inevitable?

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

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Episode 43
Featuring Elizabeth C. Economy
Episode 43
Featuring Elizabeth C. Economy

Anne Stevenson-Yang co-founded J Capital Research in late 2007 and is J Capital's Research Director. Her coverage areas include solar, internet, medical devices, property, some consumer and direct-sales names, and China's macro-economy. Anne was formerly co-founder of a group of Online Media Businesses called Blue Bamboo Ventures and also founded and operated a CRM software company, Clarity Data Systems, and a publishing company whose flagship magazine is City Weekend. Over 25 years in China, Anne has also worked as an industry analyst and trade advocate, heading the US Information Technology Office and, 1993 through 1997, the China operations of the US-China Business Council. Anne authored the 2013 monograph China Alone: China's Emergence and Potential Return to Isolation for the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The book set argued that China historically repeats a cycle of expansion and retreat.

 

@doumenzi

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Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

Markets
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Markets
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Market Forces
Featuring Marc Faber
Demetri Kofinas speaks with famed investor Marc Faber, about the global wealth gap. They examine the role that central banks, government bailouts, and ultra-low interest rates have played in exacerbating this trend towards inequality and financial instability. The two also discuss the growing instability on the Korean peninsula.

In this week’s Market Forces segment, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with famed investor, commentator, and editor of the Gloom, Boom, and Doom Report, Marc Faber. Though Dr. Faber has been dubbed “Dr. Doom,” by the financial press, he is perhaps most famous for his very accurate timing of the US stock market bottom in March 2009. A veteran of the financial industry, Dr. Faber worked during the 1970’s for White Weld & Company Limited in New York City, Zurich, and Hong Kong. He moved to Hong Kong in 1973. He was a managing director at Drexel Burnham Lambert Ltd Hong Kong from the beginning of 1978 until 1990. In 1990, he set up his own business, Marc Faber Limited, acting as an investment advisor and fund manager. Marc Faber now resides in Chiang Mai, Thailand, though he keeps a small office in Hong Kong.

 

In their nearly hour-long conversation, Marc Faber and Demetri Kofinas discuss the growing wealth and income gap seen across the world, with particular emphasis on the United States. They examine the role that central bank policy, government bailouts, and ultra-low interest rates have played in exacerbating this trend towards inequality and financial system instability. The two discuss Uber, where Demetri draws a parallel between the technology company’s practice of subsidizing its customers at the expense of its investors to the practice of Asian savers subsidizing American consumers during the 2000’s housing boom. Marc Faber expresses a negative outlook for the US dollar in the near-term, taking a strongly bearish view of equities, in particular, the FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google). He believes that the Federal Reserve, rather than succeed in its efforts to shrink its balance sheet, will be overcome by deflationary events in the market and forced to begin expanding its balance sheet once again. Marc Faber believes that western central banks will look to buy more than just government bonds, CDOs, and government-backed mortgages. He is of the mind that just as the Bank of Japan has come to own two-thirds of the ETF market in Japan, so too can western central banks. Indeed, Marc Faber believes that central banks will do whatever they need to do in order to prevent the financial system from collapsing, and this means “printing more money.”

 

Demetri Kofinas also ask Marc Faber about Bitcoin, and what his views are on cryptocurrencies. Marc also gives his views on gold, structural demographics, populism, and the potential for war in Asia. The two end their conversation with best Marc Faber’s investment advice for anyone looking to navigate the ensuing years of financial turmoil and market volatility.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Marc Faber (born February 28, 1946) is a Swiss investor based in Thailand. Faber is publisher of the Gloom Boom & Doom Report newsletter and is the director of Marc Faber Ltd, which acts as an investment advisor and fund manager. Faber also serves as director, advisor, and shareholder of a number of investment funds that focus on emerging and frontier markets, including Asia Frontier Capital Ltd.'s AFC Asia Frontier Fund.

 

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Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

Finance History
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Finance History
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Episode 13
Featuring James Grant
Demetri Kofinas speaks with James Grant about the history of interest rates and their relevance in a capitalist economy. How are rates determined? What are the consequences, realized and yet to be discovered, of the extraordinary and actions taken by governments in 2008 to arrest the contraction and restart economic growth?

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with James Grant. James Grant is a legend of the financial newsletter industry. Once the editor of the yield column in Barron’s, he would leave in 1983 to found Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, two years after the sacred risk-free rate touched just under 20%. This is a level that seems nearly impossible to fathom in today’s world of near-zero and even negative, interest rates. Having observed, reported, and opined on markets for almost 50 years, James Grant represents a bastion of experience and wisdom.

 

In this episode, we stop to listen. We stop to remember a time, in which the extraordinary measures and unprecedented actions of our monetary and fiscal authorities would have seemed unimaginable. We take a hard look at money. How does this shadow of wealth find its value? How is the rate of interest determined, and what is the role of financial markets in facilitating the discovery of that value? What happened, in 2008 and what are the consequences, realized and yet to be discovered, of those very extraordinary and unprecedented actions taken by governments around the world to douse the flames of deflation? What was done in order to contain the contraction and to prevent the discovery of prices? What does the future hold in 2017? What investments does one make, and where might one find opportunity in these oceans of uncertainty?

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

James Grant (born 26 July, 1946) is an American writer and publisher. The founder of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, a twice-monthly journal of the financial markets, he is the author of Money of the Mind (1992), The Trouble with Prosperity (1996), John Adams: Party of One (2005), Mr. Speaker: The Life and Times of Thomas B. Reed, the Man Who Broke the Filibuster (2011), and The Forgotten Depression (2014) among other works.

 

@GrantsPub

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Economics
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Episode 12
Featuring Steve Keen
Demetri Kofinas speaks with economist Steve Keen about the history of economic thought from the time of the physiocrats to the present day. Where did our ideas of rational preference, utility maximization, and market equilibrium come from? How have these ideas been debunked by the events, insights, and theories of the last 100 years?

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with economist Steve Keen. Steve is Professor of Economics at Kingston University in London and one of a handful of economists to correctly anticipate the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Professor Keen is also the popular author of “Debunking Economics,” as well as the timely book, “Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis?” 

 

In today’s conversation, we tear up the textbook of contemporary economics. We dispense with equilibrium. We embrace irrationality. We internalize economic externalities and drop assumptions about the world that do not comport with the reality of lived experience. We begin our history of economics with the physiocrats, enlightenment thinkers of the early 18th century who concerned themselves with the question: “where does stuff come from?” We move through the classical period of economics, exploring the philosophies of Adam Smith and David Ricardo. We stop to question the assumptions of the Newtonian minded neoclassicists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who saw fit to squeeze a complicated world into a set of simple models. Where did our ideas of rational preference, utility maximization, and market equilibrium come from? How have these ideas been debunked by the events, insights, and theories of the last 100 years? What was the role of John Maynard Keynes and his Keynesian revolution? Where did he and the Austrian Friedrich von Hayek meet? Where has the evolution of economics taken us since World War II? What is the role of banking in the economy? How is money created? How does it circulate? What is the role of credit? How might this almost Godly instrument of wealth creation have become a source of global instability and financial distress? Finally, Steve Keen and Demetri explore the landscape of the modern economy. They look at China, with its ghost cities and massive state-directed banking system. They explore Australia, Canada, and South Korea, as possible sources for the next financial crisis and consider possible solutions for society, as well as the individual.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Steve Keen (born 28 March 1953) is an Australian economist and author. He considers himself a post-Keynesian, criticising neoclassical economics as inconsistent, unscientific and empirically unsupported. The major influences on Keen's thinking about economics include John Maynard Keynes, Karl Marx, Hyman Minsky, Piero Sraffa, Augusto Graziani, Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Thorstein Veblen, and François Quesnay. Hyman Minsky's financial instability hypothesis forms the main basis of his major contribution to economics which mainly concentrates on mathematical modelling and simulation of financial instability. He is a notable critic of the Australian property bubble, as he sees it.

 

Keen was formerly a Professor of economics at University of Western Sydney, until taking voluntary redundancy in 2013. In 2014, he became a professor and Head of the School of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University in London. He remains a Professor of Economics at Kingston University, is an Honorary Professor at University College London, and is now crowdfunded via Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen.

 

Keen developed the Open Source monetary modelling program Minsky (see https://sourceforge.net/projects/minsky/). His latest books are Can we avoid another financial crisis? and eCONcomics: Taking the CON Out of Economics. He is currently working on the role of energy in production, a 3rd edition of Debunking Economics, and a cartoon book on money called "Funny Money".

 

@ProfSteveKeen

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Economics
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Economics
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Episode 9
Featuring Sebastian Mallaby
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s biographer, Sebastian Mallaby. How responsible was Greenspan for the prosperity of the 90s? How much is he to blame for the financial crisis of 2008? Most importantly, what can his story teach us about the limits and dangers of human intervention, foresight, and power?

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas explores the history of the Federal Reserve under the chairmanship of Alan Greenspan with biographer Sebastian Mallaby. Sebastian is a writer, commentator, and chronicler of financial and economic history. He is the Paul A. Volcker senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and a contributing columnist for the Washington Post. His interests cover a wide variety of domestic and international issues, including central banks (the federal reserve), financial markets, and the intersection of economics and international relations. Some of his books include More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite, The World’s Banker, and The Man Who Knew: The Life & Times of Alan Greenspan, Winner of the 2016 Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award.

 

Alan Greenspan is one of the most consequential and yet, least understood figures in American history. He was a libertarian turned technocrat. He was a self-described “side-man” who, nevertheless, managed to place himself front and center during one of the most crucial periods in the remaking of American finance. His early days in politics were spent as an active supporter of the Republican Barry Goldwater. In his later years, he became a fixture in the Ford administration. Later, he took on the role as an advisor to Ronald Reagan. Alan Greenspan’s role in public policy long predates his almost 20-year tenure as chairman of the Federal Reserve System. His chairmanship lasted from the crisis of 1987 all the way through to the peak of the American housing market in 2006. How responsible was he for the prosperity of the 1990s? How much is he to blame for the catastrophic, financial meltdown of 2008? Most importantly, what can the story of Alan Greenspan teach us about the limits and dangers of human intervention, foresight, and power?

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Sebastian Mallaby is the Paul A. Volcker senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). An experienced journalist and public speaker, Mallaby is also a contributing columnist for the Washington Post, where he previously served as a staff columnist and editorial board member. He is the author of The Man Who Knew: The Life & Times of Alan Greenspan, winner of the 2016 Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award and the 2017 George S. Eccles Prize in Economic Writing. His writing has also appeared in the Atlantic and the Financial Times, where he spent two years as a contributing editor.

 

Mallaby’s interests cover a wide variety of domestic and international issues, including central banks, financial markets, the implications of the rise of newly emerging powers, and the intersection of economics and international relations.

 

His previous book, More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite, was described by New York Times columnist David Brooks as “superb”; it was the recipient of the 2011 Loeb Prize and a New York Times bestseller. His earlier works are The World’s Banker, a portrait of the World Bank under James Wolfensohn that was named as an “Editor’s Choice” by the New York Times; and After Apartheid, which was named by the New York Times as a “Notable Book.” An essay in the Financial Timessaid of The World’s Banker, “Mallaby’s book may well be the most hilarious depiction of a big organization and its controversial boss since Michael Lewis’s Liar’s Poker.”

 

Before joining the Washington Post in 1999, Mallaby spent thirteen years with the Economist. While at the Economist, he worked in London, where he wrote about foreign policy and international finance; in Africa, where he covered Nelson Mandela’s release and the collapse of apartheid; and in Japan, where he covered the breakdown of the country’s political and economic consensus. Between 1997 and 1999, Mallaby was the Economist’s Washington bureau chief and wrote the magazine’s weekly Lexington column on American politics and foreign policy. He is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist: once for editorials on Darfur and once for a series on economic inequality. In 2015, he helped to found a startup, InFacts.org, a web publication making the fact-based case for Britain to remain in the European Union.

 

Mallaby was educated at Oxford, graduating in 1986 with a first class degree in modern history. After eighteen years in Washington, DC, he moved to London in 2014, where he lives with his wife, Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor in chief of the Economist.

 

@SCMallaby

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Complexity
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Complexity
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Episode 7
Featuring W. Brian Arthur
Demetri Kofinas speaks with one of the pioneers in complexity science, Brian Arthur. The two explore the interdisciplinary history of complexity theory, reciting the works of mathematicians, physicists, philosophers, etc. Complexity is a science defined not by its adherence to perfection, but by the imperfections of the natural world.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with one of the pioneers in complexity science, W. Brian Arthur. Brian Arthur has long been associated with the Santa Fe Institute, having served on its board of trustees and its board of science. He has been described by Fortune Magazine, as “one of the country’s leading economic thinkers,” and he is best known for his pioneering work on the operation of high-technology markets. He is the author of numerous papers and books, including The Nature of Technology: What it is and How It Evolves, and Complexity and the Economy, a collection of papers on economics and financial markets examined from the perspective of complexity theory.

 

In this episode, Brian Arthur educates us on the emerging fields of complexity science and chaos theory. The history of complexity science is replete with the works of mathematicians, physicists, philosophers, ecologists, and biologists. It is a field defined by the imperfections of the natural world. In this conversation, Demetri and Brian Arthur stray far from equilibrium. They cover the booms and the busts of Joseph Schumpeter. They examine the information-laden price signals of Friedrich Hayek. They circle the chaotic orbits of Joseph Ford. They scale the infinite fractals of Benoit Mandelbrot. Demetri asks Brian Arthur about information theory, cryptography, and quantum potentiality, while examining the mystery of why markets and life are so volatile.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

W. Brian Arthur has been described by the US’s Fortune magazine, as “one of the country’s leading economic thinkers.” He is best known for his pioneering work on how high-technology markets work. “Hundreds of millions of dollars slosh around Silicon Valley every day, based on Brian Arthur’s ideas,” says John Seeley Brown, former director of Xerox Parc. “We launched Java based on Arthur’s ideas,” says Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google.

 

Arthur is also one of the pioneers of the science of complexity—the science of how patterns and structures self-organize. and has had a long association with the Santa Fe Institute, (he has served on its Board of Trustees, and its Science Board).

 

Arthur has a strong interest in technology. His book The Nature of Technologywas described as the “most important book on technology and the economy since Schumpeter, 100 years ago,” (E. Beinhocker).

 

Brian Arthur was at 37 the youngest endowed-chair professor at Stanford University. He held the Dean and Virginia Morrison Chair of Economics and Population Studies at Stanford from 1983 to 1996. He has been an advisor to Intel, to Legg Mason Capital Management, and to Citibank. He currently works at Xerox Parc in Silicon Valley.

 

Among his honors are the International Schumpeter Prize in Economics, 1990 and the (inaugural) Lagrange Prize in Complexity Science 2008 (considered complexity science’s “Nobel”). He holds honorary doctorates from the National University of Ireland, and the University of Lancaster.

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Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

Volatility
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Episode 5
Featuring Christopher Cole
Demetri Kofinas speaks with fund manager Christopher Cole about the unprecedented levels of mean reversion of financial volatility seen in recent years. This episode is about learning how to embrace and profit from the uncertainty in financial markets.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Christopher Cole about political and financial volatility. Chris is the founder of Artemis Capital and the portfolio manager of the Artemis Vega Fund, which seeks to profit from periods of financial volatility, dislocation, and systemic crisis in financial markets. His core focus is systematic, quantitative, and behavioral based trading of financial volatility derivatives.

 

What is volatility? What accounts for the unprecedented levels of mean reversion in implied volatility that we have seen in financial markets? What accounts for volatility persistence? Demetri and Chris compare spot (historic) volatility to implied (forward) volatility. They look at volatility-of-volatility (vol-of-vol). Christopher Cole presents his opinion that modern portfolio and system rebalancing strategies actually dampen financial volatility. Demetri sees these strategies as increasing volatility in the long-term, which Chris agrees with. Christopher also makes the further point that stocks are overvalued when looked at from enterprise value to EBITDA, Case Schiller PE, Price to Book, Price to Sales, etc. He also believes that financial volatility could come from either the left or right tail of the distribution. We could have inflation or deflation, according to Christopher. His objective is to profit regardless of whether we get a move upwards or downwards in prices. What is the best way to carry volatility and go long uncertainty?

 

The concepts discussed in this episode may appear complicated, but they are really rather simple. What listeners need to remember is that volatility is just change. Volatility reflects uncertainty, and we live in uncertain times. This episode is about learning how to embrace this uncertainty. It is about learning how to embrace change. It is an episode about learning how to profit from risk by capitalizing on the unknown.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Christopher R. Cole, CFA is the founder of Artemis Capital Management LP and the CIO of the Artemis Vega Fund LP. Mr. Cole’s core focus is systematic, quantitative, and behavioral based trading of volatility and derivatives. His objective is to profit from turbulence in markets and regime shifts in volatility without the substantial negative bleed associated with traditional hedging products. His decision to form a fund came after achieving significant proprietary returns during the 2008 financial crash trading volatility futures and options (verified by independent auditor).

 

Mr. Cole's volatility research was deemed influential in derivatives circles and thereafter widely quoted by the mainstream financial press. His 2012 research paper entitled, “Volatility at World’s End” argued the equity options market was mis-pricing and hedging the wrong tail (left as opposed to right). The paper was credited with re-pricing long-dated volatility, and is considered one of the best macro-economic thought pieces of the last decade. His 2017 paper "Volatility and the Alchemy of Risk" warns about self-reflexivity in the $2 trillion global short volatility trade.

 

Mr. Cole is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and in the media including Grant's Rate Observer, WSJ, Financial Times, and RealVision. He previously worked in capital markets at Merrill Lynch and structured over $10 billion in derivatives and debt transactions.

 

Mr. Cole is a self-taught investor, with no formal schooling, instead relying on independent study, empirical and quantitative research, programming, and experimentation with proprietary capital. Mr. Cole holds the CFA designation and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a focus in cinematography. He is a member of E.O. and a 2018 inductee into the Volatility Investing Hall of Fame.

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Episode 2
Featuring James Rickards
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jim Rickards, as the two explore the history of finance and the deregulation of financial markets. They address one of economics professions' greatest weaknesses, namely, the desperate need for better modeling. How can new economic theories help improve or replace our broken models?

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with New York Times bestselling author and financial commentator, Jim Rickards. Jim is the author of multiple New York Times bestsellers including The Death of Money, Currency Wars, and The New Case For Gold. His latest book is The Road To Ruin: The Global Elites' Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis. He is the editor of the Strategic Intelligence newsletter and a member of the advisory board of the Center for Financial Economics at Johns Hopkins. He’s an adviser to the Department of Defense and the U.S. intelligence community on international economics and financial threats and served as a facilitator of the first-ever financial war games conducted by the Pentagon.

 

Jim and Demetri explore financial history stretching back to some of the earliest economic philosophers. They recall the deregulation of US financial system from the time of Bretton Woods, through the financial panics in Asia in the late 1990s to the Financial Crisis of 2008. Jim Rickards address one of the economics professions' greatest weaknesses, namely, the desperate need for better modeling. What can complexity theory, Bayesian analysis, and behavioral psychology tell us about our world? How can these theories help improve or replace our broken models? The two end with projections about the future. Jim gives his rationale for why he believes the next crisis will be larger and could run deeper than what any of us might imagine. 

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor: Connor Lynch

Engineering: Ignacio Lecumberri

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

 

James Rickards is the Editor of Strategic Intelligence, a financial newsletter, and Director of The James Rickards Project, an inquiry into the complex dynamics of geopolitics + global capital. He is the author of three New York Times best sellers, The Road To Ruin (2016), The Death of Money (2014), and Currency Wars (2011), and the national best seller, The New Case for Gold (2016), all from Penguin Random House.

 

He is an investment advisor, lawyer, and economist, and has held senior positions at Citibank, Long-Term Capital Management, and Caxton Associates. In 1998, he was the principal negotiator of the rescue of LTCM sponsored by the Federal Reserve. His clients include institutional investors and government directorates. He is an Op-Ed contributor to the Financial Times, Evening Standard, The Telegraph New York Times, and Washington Post, and has been interviewed on BBC, CNN, NPR, C-SPAN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox, and The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Rickards is a guest lecturer in globalization and finance at The Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, The Kellogg School at Northwestern, and the School of Advanced International Studies. He has delivered papers on risk at Singularity University, the Applied Physics Laboratory, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is an advisor on capital markets to the U.S. intelligence community, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and is on the Advisory Board of the Center on Sanctions & Illicit Finance in Washington DC. Mr. Rickards holds an LL.M. (Taxation) from the NYU School of Law; a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School; an M.A. in international economics from SAIS, and a B.A. (with honors) from Johns Hopkins. He lives in New Hampshire.

 

@JamesGRickards

 

James Ricards on the web:

The James Ricards Project

James Ricards Youtube

James on Speakerhub

 

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Phasellus hendrerit. Pellentesque aliquet nibh nec urna. In nisi neque, aliquet vel, dapibus id, mattis vel, nisi. Sed pretium, ligula sollicitudin laoreet viverra, tortor libero sodales leo, eget blandit nunc tortor eu nibh. Nullam mollis. Ut justo. Suspendisse potenti.

Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Phasellus hendrerit. Pellentesque aliquet nibh nec urna. In nisi neque, aliquet vel, dapibus id, mattis vel, nisi. Sed pretium, ligula sollicitudin laoreet viverra, tortor libero sodales leo, eget blandit nunc tortor eu nibh. Nullam mollis. Ut justo. Suspendisse potenti.

Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.